Public Health in the News – February 23, 2014


  • In an effort to respond to infectious disease outbreaks before they spread, the U.S. is partnering with several other countries and international organizations. The Washington Post discusses recent outbreaks that spread to other countries, as well as previously successful initiatives in detection and prevention.
  • A new $3 million grant is helping to establish The Collaborative African Genomics Network. Researchers from Baylor College of Medicine, Makerere University in Uganda, and the University of Botswana will be searching for genes that contribute to HIV and tuberculosis in African children.
  • A study found that in older individuals, loneliness can be even more unhealthy than obesity. Follow up with this Chicago Tribune article about how to remain physically and mentally healthy as you age.
  • Mammograms probably do not help and may cause harm, according to a recent Canadian study. Experts weigh in in a New York Times article.
  • A meningitis immunization campaign in Benin was successful even though the vaccines were not protected from high temperatures, a recent study reports.


  • PBS showcases a fantastic project that asks women on food stamps to take photos of what hunger means to them. The results are beautiful and thought-provoking.
  • Mother Jones has an extensive report on the rates and consequences of non-medical exemptions from childhood vaccines.
  • Aspirin is increasingly being linked to a lower risk of developing cancer. An article in SFGate does a great job at explaining the research without over-hyping it.
  • “Our job in corrections is to protect the community, not to release people who are worse than they were when they came in.” The head of Colorado’s corrections department wrote in the New York Times about his temporary stay in solitary confinement.
  • New guidelines say doctors should give otherwise healthy women more time to deliver their babies vaginally before assuming that labor has stalled. The recommendations are the latest in years of efforts to prevent unnecessary C-sections.
  • Wired magazine interviews Elizabeth Holmes, who came up with a way to run multiple blood tests on a single drop of blood.
  • What else can small blood samples be used for? Getting specific information about an individual’s cancer and devising a treatment, according to an article in Discover magazine.


  • Chicago Democratic Sen. Mattie Hunter is sponsoring legislation to impose a penny-per-ounce surcharge on sugary drinks that are sold in sealed containers, according to a report by the Springfield bureau of Lee Enterprises Newspapers.
  • Satirical newspaper The Onion is partnering with Get Covered Illinois to create ads encouraging young adults to get health insurance, according to a report in the Chicago Sun-Times.


  • The American Association for the Advancement of Science held their annual meeting in Chicago last weekend. To learn more about some of the wide-ranging science topics discussed there, head over to and check out some of the press releases.


Cover Photo by Tookapic via Pexels: Creative Commons

About NPHR Blog (272 Articles)
The is the blog of the Northwestern Public Health Review journal. The blog and journal are both student run and contain research articles, opinions, interviews and other content pertaining to public health.

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